Parking on the VA/WV Appalachian Trail

Section 27 - Black Horse Gap (USFS 186) to Daleville (US 220/VA 816) Displayed from North to South

Maintained by:
  Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club http://www.ratc.org/ RATCHikemaster @ gmail.com Black Horse Gap to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter, and US 460 at the New River to VA 611 Black Horse Gap to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter, and US 460 at the New River to VA 611


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Mile
Marker
 
Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Weather  
Source
0.0
Black Horse Gap (USFS 186)
  Poor            Great



 
Mile 97.7 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 17 miles to Roanoke via the Parkway and combined US 221 and 460. Is is possible but not advisable except in the best of weather to reach Black Horse Gap over USFS Rd. 186 and Va 606 from US 11. USFS Rd. 186 is barred at the Parkway. 3/3/2006 Limited parking.
As noted above, Black Horse Gap is at Mile 97.7 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is 6.8 miles south of the junction of the Parkway and VA 43 westbound to Buchanan. While there is a sign for the gap, there is also an equestrian crossing sign which shows a diagram of a rider on a black horse. Assuming you are traveling southbound on the Parkway, there is parking space on the left (3-4 cars) with additional parking for a like number on the right at the intersection with USFS 186 (Old Fincastle Road). This road goes both ways from the gap and is gated in either direction. Do not block gates. See the last two pictures for Section 26. To reach the AT, walk northwest (right if coming south on the Parkway) down USFS 186 for a few feet. The northbound AT (to Section 26) goes right, the southbound AT (to Section 27) goes left. 10/30/07 See directions
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
The green arrow on the attached map marks Black Horse Gap and the intersection of USFS 186 and Blue Ridge Parkway. The street view is looking down USFS 186 from the parkway. The AT crosses USFS a short distance from the parkway. Rotate the street view to see other possible roadside parking at the gap. 11/29/2009 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
5.0
Curry Creek Trail
  Poor            Great



 
I have neither hiked this trail nor scouted the lower trailhead. I have seen the junction with the AT. Following is from "Trails in Southwest Virginia: James River to New River" published by the Outing Club of Virginia Tech and the ATC. "Take US 11 north from Troutville to VA 606. Turn right on VA 606 proceeding to VA 640 and turn right again onto VA 640. After about 1 mile turn left at road and sign for Curry Creek Trail. park here and hike to end of road to reach trail. " The Curry Creek Trail ascends steadily along Curry Creek to the AT. It climbs about 400 feet in 2.5 miles. The trail as seen from the AT does not seem to get much use. Coordinates at the At intersection are 37.4178 -79.8130. The green arrow on the attached map indicates this intersection, 10/31/07 Not known 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
Access to this trail also appear possible by continuing of VA 606 which becomes FS 186. In a mile or so, go right on another forest road (FS 634?). The trail should intersect this at the road's end. The sign at the AT crossing indicates it is only 3/4 of a mile to FS 634. I know absolutely nothing about the feasibility of this access. 10/31/07 Not known
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
5.8
Salt Pond Road - USFS Rd. 191 & VA 711
  Poor            Great



 
Salt Pond Road provides access to the center of this section from VA 640, approximatly 5 miles down hill to the west. The road continues uphill 1.1 mile to the Blue Ridge Parkway, where it is gated.
Salt Pond Road meets the Blue Ridge Parkway in Curry Gap at Mile 101.5. There is no sign, but there is a sign with an equestrian crossing logo just before the intersection. Salt Pond Road is on the north side of the Parkway, which here runs east-west. It would be on the left coming from the direction of Roanoke. Salt Pond Road is gated at the Parkway. There is space for 3-4 cars to park at the intersection. Do not block gate. The B marker on the attached map marks Curry Gap at the parkway. Click on the camera icon to see a street view. Rotate this to the north to see gated Salt Pond Road and possible parking. Hike along Salt Pond Road 1.1 miles to reach the AT. Contrary to the "AT Guide to Central Virginia", the road is uphill from the Parkway to the crossing. It is a gradual grade, but steadily uphill. The road has been graded, but is very narrow and trees and brush are crowding in from the sides. It appears this stretch from the Parkway to the AT crossing gets very little, if any, vehicle traffic. The AT crossing of Salt Pond Road is at the A marker on the attached map. This is at the top of the climb. Here the southbound trail goes left up a set of steps while the northbound trail goes right , soon beginning a long descent into the valley of Curry Creek.

3-4 at parkway,1 possible at trail crossing 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
Direct access to the trail crossing MIGHT be available via this route. Follow US 11 about 3 miles north of Troutdale, then go right on VA 640. In about 3/4 of a mile the map shows VA 640 going left. Continue right (straight ahead) on VA 711. In another mile 711 appears to also bear left. Go right (straight ahead) on Salt Pond Road (USFS 191). In about 3.7 miles (5.5 miles total from US 11, the road makes a sharp turn from northeast to south. The trail crossing is here. Very limited parking (1 car) roadside. Directions above are based on Map Tech software and the AT map.
The AT Guide to Central Virginia says that direct access to the trail crossing on Salt Pond Road is possible via this route. When I was there, there were some tire marks indicating some vehicle traffic. I have not driven there myself but a recent report describes the drive as "an adventure". The road is narrow with brush crowding in from the sides and parts of it are rocky. The section from Fulhardt Knob Fire Road to the AT crossing is especially bad. The person who did drive it had a high clearance vehicle and says the road would not be suitable for a regular passenger car. 07/22/08 1 car
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
Same as previously posted. The turn onto Salt Pond Road from VA 711 is clearly marked with a brown Forest Service sign. I drove Salt Pond Road in a high clearance 2-wheel-drive cargo van and parked at the AT crossing a few days after a significant rain and had no problem. However I would describe the section beyond Fullhardt Knob fire road as borderline for an ordinary passenger car - the decision to drive it really depends on your patience and nerves--I drove very slowly and could easily find a track that avoided hazards such as rocks: The road is rocky, meaning rocks sticking up several inches, that could potentially strike the oil pan of low clearance vehicles. But the day I drove it was the second day of Muzzle-loader deer hunting season and there were half a dozen vehicles using the road or parked along it (4 at the Fullhardt knob fire road junction). One of these was a nearly new Accura, which did not venture beyond the Fullhardt Knob fire road. 11/19/11 1 or 2 1
PJWetzel @ gmail.com
7.7
Fulhardt Knob Fire Road
  Poor            Great



 
Access to the AT MIGHT be available via this route. See directions to Salt Pond Road (Mile 5.8). Follow VA 711 and then narrow, dirt but graded Salt Pond Road for about 3 miles from VA 640. Salt Pond Road makes a fairly sharp turn here. An old road goes right. This is Fullhardt Knob Fire Road. There is no sign. See pictures for a view of the intersection of these two roads. On the satellite view of the attached map the intersection is at the sharp turn of Salt Pond Road indicted by the green arrow. Directions above are based on Map Tech software and the AT map. The AT Guide to Central Virginia says that access to the AT is possible via Salt Pond Road. I have not driven this route myself but see the previous listing (Mile 5.8) for a caveat about this road from somebody who did. . The part up to the intersection with the Fulhardt Knob is apparently not too bad. To reach the trail, walk up the fire road. In a few feet dirt has been piled up to prevent vehicle access. The AT is uphill 0.15 miles along the road. Here the northbound AT goes left. the southbound AT goes straight ahead on Fullhardt Knob Fire Road. Note: On the map, the whole length of the fire road to Salt Pond Road is called the appalachian Trail, but as indicated above, the trail itsself does not reach Salt Pond Road at this point. 07/22/08 2-3 roadside 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
The map attached here is a zoomed-in version of the previous one showing the satellite view. Marker B indicates the intersection with Salt Pond Road. 02/20/10 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
11.5
VA 652
  Poor            Great




No parking here. 04/14/07
stacylabare @ earthlink.net
No parking here Any possible parking area at the crossing is festooned with No Parking signs. This however can be used as an access or drop-off point. From I-81 Take Exit 150 (specifically 150 B, I believe) to merge onto US 220 going south. At the intersection with US 11 go left. In 0.6 miles, go right on VA 653. In another 0.8 miles go left on Mountain Pass Road (VA 652) and proceed 0.4 miles to the trail crossing. This is indicated by the marker on the attached map. See satellite and street views of the attached map. Rotate the street view to see the vicinity of the trail. The southbound trail crosses the stile (southeast view) and then the road. From there it goes around the gate in the north view and continues towards Daleville. 11/27/2009 0 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
12.1
US 11
  Poor            Great




Take Exit 150 (150B, I believe) and merge onto US 220 southbound. The the intersection with US 11, go left on US 11 for 1.2 miles to the trail crossing, Troutville is 0.8 miles further north on US 11. A trailhead parking lot is available. The marker on the attached map indicates the actual trail crossing of US 11. On the street view, rotate to the northeast to see the northbound trail towards Black Horse Gap. A view to the west shows the southbound trail heading for Daleville.. Rotating to the south shows US 11 southbound with the entrance to the parking area visible on the left. 11/28/2009 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
From the major intersection of 220/11/I-81 at Daleville, head north on Rte 11, and look for the AT logo on a post and the large and colorful Troutville sign on the right. Yes, there is a parking lot here on the north/east side of Rte 11, near the colorful "Troutville" town sign. Look for the smaller AT signpost with logo, but pull in at the townline sign, just south of the AT. Click on the marker, choose the street view and rotate to the east to see the parking area. 04/14/07 6 1
stacylabare @ earthlink.net
12.4
Valley Road (VA 779) East Junction
  Poor            Great



 
Option 1: From the point where VA 779 (Valley Road) goes east proceed 1.2 miles to the I-81 overpasses. Cross under them. This point is just on the other side.
Option 2: From the intersection of US 220 and US 11 jut off Exit 150B, go 1.3 miles north on US 11 to the intersection with VA 779. Turn left here and go about 0.5 miles to the overpasses. This point is indicated by the A marker on the attached map There does not appear to be any viable parking here, so this should be considered only an access or drop-off point.
Click on the camera icon by the A marker in the directions on the map to see a street view. Rotate to the southeast to see the northbound AT leaving the road as a footpath across a field. The southbound trail follows the road under the freeway. 11/28/09 Probably 0 1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
12.5
Valley Road (VA 779) West Junction
  Poor            Great



 
Option 1: From the point where VA 779 (Valley Road) goes east proceed 1.1 miles to the I-81 overpasses. This point is just before the overpasses.
Option 2: From the intersection of US 220 and US 11 jut off Exit 150B, go 1.3 miles north on US 11 to the intersection with VA 779. Turn left here and go about 0.6 miles to the overpasses. Cross under them to this point which is indicated by the B marker on the attached map at Mile 12.4. There does not appear to be any viable parking here, so this should be considered only an access or drop-off point.
Click on the camera icon by the B marker in the directions on the map at Mile 12.4 to see a street view. Rotate to the southeast to see the southbound AT leaving the road climbing a steep set of wooden stairs. Northbound the trail follows the road under the freeway. 11/28/09 Probably 0
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
13.6
Daleville (US 220/VA 816)
  Poor            Great



 
Trail crossing of US 220 is about 0.5 miles northwest of Exit 150 of I-81, about 10 miles north of Roanoake. A Park-and-Ride lot is located on US 220 about 0.2 miles south of the crossing at jct. with VA 816. 6/24/06 Ample parking at lot
dlcul @ conncoll.edu
On the satellite view of the attached map, the A marker indicates where the traill crosses US 220. Click on the camera icon by A in the directions to get a street view. Rotate the view to the southeast to see where the northbound trail leaves the highway. This is the strip of trees just left of the gas station. Rotate to the norhwest to see where the the southbound AT leaves the highway. It reeneters the woods just north of the asphalt business entrance.
The commuter parking lot is indicated by Marker B. Click on the camera icon by B to see the lot. 11/28/2009
1
dlcul @ conncoll.edu

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